5 things to watch in PIAA boys basketball: WPIAL, City League clash
By: Chris Harlan
Tuesday, March 12, 2019 | 1:30 AM
The WPIAL and City League champions will meet head-to-head Wednesday for the fourth year in a row in the PIAA boys basketball playoffs.
Mt. Lebanon (23-3) plays Allderdice (22-5) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Canon-McMillan in a second-round matchup in Class 6A. The clash of champions was once rare, but has become far more frequent since the PIAA rearranged the brackets in 2015.
In 2018, Allderdice defeated Penn Hills, 44-41.
In 2017, Pine-Richland defeated Allderdice, 58-47.
In 2016, Allderdice defeated Pine-Richland, 75-60.
Yet, in the 20 years from 1996-2015, the WPIAL and City League champions met only three times in the state playoffs.
In 2005, Schenley defeated Upper St. Clair, 59-49.
In 2000, Penn Hills defeated Peabody, 58-54.
In 1996, Blackhawk defeated Perry, 62-42.
Beaver County rivalry
Aliquippa and Lincoln Park is quickly becoming one of the WPIAL’s best basketball rivalries.
The section rival Quips (17-8) and Leopards (23-4), who split their two regular season matchups, will meet Wednesday night for the third time this season in the PIAA Class 3A second round.
Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. at Moon.
Lincoln Park won 73-69 at Aliquippa on Dec. 18. Aliquippa then won the rematch 77-74 at Lincoln Park on Jan. 22.
Doubleheader in Hollidaysburg
Mars and Quaker Valley are headed to Hollidaysburg, but this will be no vacation for them.
WPIAL Class 5A champion Mars (25-1) has a 6 p.m. matchup Tuesday with William Penn (24-4), the third-place team from District 3.
WPIAL Class 4A runner-up Quaker Valley (21-4) will follow with a 7:30 p.m. game against District 3 champion Bishop McDevitt (23-3).
Both District 3 teams already eliminated one WPIAL opponent. McDevitt advanced with an 82-37 victory over Ringgold in the first round. William Penn defeated Chartiers Valley, 85-73.
Pine-Richland faces state’s No. 1 team
Pine-Richland now has its shot against powerhouse Kennedy Catholic, the state’s top-ranked team in Class 6A.
The parochial school in Hermitage has a lineup of Division 1 recruits including 6-foot-8 center Oscar Tshiebwe, who’s headed to West Virginia. Kennedy Catholic defeated Fox Chapel, 55-28, in the first round.
The school won three consecutive PIAA Class A titles from 2016-18 before voluntarily moving to Class 6A before this season.
The WPIAL has a chance to claim all four “western” quarterfinal spots in the Class A and 2A brackets.
The top four WPIAL qualifiers all reached the second round in Class A: Nazareth Prep, Vincentian Academy, Cornell and Monessen.
In Class 2A, there are five WPIAL teams still alive. Along with Aliquippa and Lincoln Park, there’s WPIAL third seed Seton LaSalle, fifth-seeded Beaver Falls and sixth-seeded Deer Lakes.
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .